Recruiting Reality Check: Kronos Study Finds Talent Acquisition Taking Longer, Costing More

LOWELL, Mass.--()--With unemployment hovering at its lowest level in more than a decade, a new study from Kronos Incorporated finds more than half (53 percent) of organizations are planning to make major changes to their talent acquisition strategy within the next two years in response to increases in time-to-hire and cost-to-hire created by the competitive job market.

The study, “How High-performing Organizations Compete for Talent: Evolving Strategies for Attracting and Hiring a Complex Workforce,” was conducted by Kronos and The Human Capital Institute (HCI). Human resources (HR) leaders at 234 organizations were interviewed to better understand what they are doing differently to recruit the hourly and salaried talent needed to be competitive today and in the future. The study utilizes the HCI high-performing organization index1 to categorize organizations into two groups: high-performing organizations (HPOs) and all other organizations.

News Facts

  • Talent void: Recruiting in 2019 is more challenging by every key metric
    • According to the study, approximately half of all organizations say the number of open hourly (48 percent) and salaried (53 percent) positions has increased over the last two years.
    • It takes longer to fill those roles, too, as 36 percent of organizations report time-to-hire from original job posting to accepted offer for hourly positions has increased, and 38 percent of organizations report time-to-hire for salaried positions has increased.
    • Extended time-to-hire is also driving up cost-per-hire, which has increased at nearly half of all organizations for both hourly (48 percent) and salaried (47 percent) positions.
    • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of organizations have increased starting pay for salaried roles, while half (50 percent) have increased starting pay for hourly roles over the past two years.
  • Strategic vs. tactical: High-performing organizations look inward for recruiting success
    • At HPOs, the most important talent acquisition strategy considerations include alignment with business priorities (56 percent), strength of internal talent pipeline (48 percent), and availability of specific skills (48 percent).
    • For all other organizations, availability of specific skills is the top consideration according to nearly three-quarters of HR leaders (70 percent), followed by meeting the needs of the hiring manager (58 percent), and building an external talent pipeline (39 percent).
    • More than one-fifth (21 percent) of HPOs utilize workforce data from human capital management suites, human resources information systems, or recruiting solutions to make hiring decisions compared to just 5 percent of all other organizations.
  • Growing gap: Not all organizations are investing in talent acquisition at similar rates
    • Better employer brand/recruitment marketing is the top focus for nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of HPOs compared to just 40 percent of other organizations.
    • HPOs also plan to invest in talent acquisition technology more aggressively than other organizations (59 percent vs. 37 percent).
    • Additional budget will be put toward an enhanced candidate experience at 55 percent of HPOs (compared to 37 percent of other organizations), while more than half (51 percent) of HPOs will focus on improving recruiter effectiveness compared to just 27 percent of other organizations.

Supporting Quotes

  • Stacey Kervin, SHRM-CP, senior manager, HCM Practice Group, Kronos
    “Low unemployment, higher rates of turnover, and increasing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire continue to put added pressure on HR and recruiting professionals. Organizations must take a proactive approach to talent acquisition. By offering an engaging candidate experience – strategically leveraging technology to meet the needs of the candidate, HR, and the hiring manager – organizations will be better positioned to identify internal high performers and more easily find, attract, and hire external talent.”
  • Jenna N. Filipkowski, Ph.D., head of research, Human Capital Institute
    “As the world evolves, so too must the ways that organizations attract, recruit, and retain top talent. High-performing organizations use technology to collect and analyze information, optimize processes, ease recruiter workloads, and customize communication to personalize the candidate experience. This approach allows them to focus on developing internal talent pipelines, hire for potential instead of skill, and create a high-performing team regardless of the job market.”

Supporting Resources

About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

Footnote 1: The High-performing Organization (HPO) index is an index developed by HCI measuring 14 organizational outcomes to evaluate the relative strength and weakness of respondents’ organizations. These include seven talent outcomes (investments in training, internal mobility, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, quality of hire, retention, and leadership bench strength) and seven critical business dimensions (customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, talent attraction, innovation, profitability, growth/market share, and productivity). These inventories are composed of items with five-point rating scales. Scores from these items are aggregated to create a composite score that reflects the overall strength of each organization in terms of its performance. For this survey, the top 31 percent of the scores on this inventory are considered high-performing organizations. High-performing Organizations are diversely represented across industry and number of employees.

© 2019 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos and the Kronos logo are registered trademarks and Workforce Innovation That Works is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. See a complete list of Kronos trademarks. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners.


Dan Gouthro
Kronos Incorporated
+1 978.947.7310

Release Summary

Talent acquisition trends are changing as human resources (HR) leaders adapt their recruiting and hiring practices, according to new Kronos study


Dan Gouthro
Kronos Incorporated
+1 978.947.7310